AngerCoach Show#7 – Does Happiness Counter-Balance Anger?

This months episode handles the question: “Does Happiness Counter-Balance Anger? The answer might surprise you. Research into the field of happiness suggests that it is possible for people to counter-balance negative emotions with positive ones. In this podcast we explain how easy it is to put this into practice.

Please note: This anger program and these anger tips are not meant to substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or advice. If you have intense, serious or chronic anger problems, or you have to deal with someone else who does, you should immediately consult a mental health or medical professional for help or just visit FORM CLINIC

Stimulate positive emotions to resolve conflicts

Mental health professionals have discovered an important principal that should be used when attempting to resolve conflicts or settle disputes with others. Simply put, conflicts can resolved more successfully when reason and emotion are taken into account. To try to solve an emotional issue with logic alone is often very ineffective and frustrating.  We are emotional beings by nature and to ignore the emotional underpinnings of a disagreement is a mistake often made by individuals, couples, and employers.

According to experts Daniel Shapiro and Roger Fisher at the Harvard International Negociation Initiative, to resolve conflict people should focus on core concerns rather than raw emotions themelves. Doing this shifts emotions into a more positive, productive direction.

Probably the mst important of the core concern is that of appreciation.   Appreciation encompasses the desire to be understood and valued. Expressing appreciation involves finding the merit in another person’s point of view. Research by the marital researcher Dr. John Gottman showed that it was possible to predict which newlyweds would divorce within six years by observing their interaction and expression of appreciation of the other during the first three minutes of a 15-minute argument.

Other core conerns that show you are dealing with the other person’s emotions include affiliation, autonomy, status and role. Affiliation involves somehow both getting on the same side of the issue – becoming allies instead of adversaries.  Autonomy is important ebcause conflicts often develop when people feel that they weren’t adequately involved in a decision that directly affected them. Status makes one person feel superior over the other one and works against resolving a conflict because the less superior person often feels diminished or resentful. Try to equalize the status by asking the other person for advice or ask them to expres their viewpoint.Convey in words and body language that everyone involved in solving a conflict has something valuable to offer, regardless of title or rank. Role means that we empower people as listeners, facilitators, or problem solvers, depending on the conflict and the situation.
Taking emotional concerns and issues into account will go a long way toward helping you resolve conflicts with other human beings. For more information on anger management and conflict resolution, visit our webiste at www.angercoach.com. 

Treat spouse as you would a friend

As an experienced marriage therapist as well as anger management trainer, I am often amazed at how badly people in relationship treat each other in comparison to how they treat their co-workers or same-sex friends. Things sometimes get to the point of contempt, which is a major predictor of divorce, according to recent research the the Gottman Institute in Seattle.

It seems obvious that to create and maintain a healthy loving relationship you need to treat your partner in ways that makes your partner feel loved and valued. Some marital therapists call this “real giving.” You can’t just spout-off, “be-yourself”, “say whatever  is on my mind all the time,” or disrespect your spouse one moment and then be loving the next – and expect your relationship to survive.

Part of relationship success involves treating each other with basic respect and civility; in effect, just try being nicer and see what results you might get. Sounds deceptively simple, yet somehow many people find it much easier to do with friends than spouses.

For more on this topic, visit our website at http://www.angercoach.com

Poor Anger Control is Bad For Society

Extreme conflict, violence, and intolerance are all anger-based social issues that greatly affect marriages, families, children, the workplace, and entire cultures. Take the fact that it is estimated that between 2.3 million and 10 million children are exposed to intimate partner violence (parents fighting) each year in the United States alone. Or the fact that in Los Angeles  county (California), as one example, there are an estimated 1300 street gangs with over 150,000 members; the vast majority of violent incidents involving gang members continue to result from fights over turf, status, and revenge.

Angry teens increasingly are front-page news as they return to schools and shoot victims they perceive as prior tormentors. Most unhappy teens of course do not resort to shooting those who may have rejected them. Instead, they suffer silently with their brooding anger often to the detriment of their grades, their social lives, and their self-esteem.
In the business world, there is no question that poorly handled anger, frustration and resentment sabotage productivity. Studies show that a high percentage of time on the job is spent engaging in or trying to resolve conflicts. This results in wasted employee time,mistakes, stress, lower morale, hampered performance and reduced profits or service.

Intolerance of those that are different from us in any way often sets the stage for anger based problems in our society. Unfortunately, people often ridicule, condemn and put down others who may physically look, behaviorally act, or mentally believe differently than they do. It is important to remember that “different” isn’t necessarily “bad,” as some misguided people reason. Getting angry at people or groups of people because they do not share our values or our ways of looking at the world (or they refuse to change to be likeus) leads to untold resentment, generations of conflict, and escalating feelings of hatred toward others.

Controlling anger is good for yourself and the world around you. 
For more information on our numerous programs for anger control and certified programs to teach anger management to others, please visit http://www.angercoach.com

CAM Training ReCertified for 2008-2009

Century Anger Management, the training organization for the Anger Coach and AJ Novick Group has been recertified by the California Standards Training for Corrections Programs for the year 2008-2009. This means that our training program again meets the training requirements as set forth by the Corrections Standards Authority for California Counties participating in the Standards and Training for Corrections Programs. More information about becoming certified as an Anger Management Professional is available at http://www.angercertification.com

I cannot control people who do not wish to be controlled – Self Talk Part 3

Much anger is the world is generated by people trying to control or change other people who do not wish to be controlled or changed. Rather than thinking in terms of “control,” think instead of other methods of changing and influencing others such as: persuading, educating, rewarding, enticing, compromising, being positive role model, advising, urging or convincing. Remember, people have free will and in most cases they have a tight to do things we consider wrong or stupid if they are willing to accept the consequences.

How To Talk To Yourself When Angry-Part 1

As you go through your daily life, what kinds of things irritate or anger you? If you are like most people, the list is porbably quite long and may vary in length depending on the day and your mood at the time.

Our anger management participants regularly tell us they experience workplace anger, desk rage, road rage, relationship anger, irritation with parents, irritation with teachers, being mad at peers, being mad at siblings, fast-food anger, customer service anger, bank anger, computer anger, and ex-spouse anger. There appears to be no end to the growing list as our society becomes more and more complex.

When you stop and think about it, you will realize that there is no limit to things in the world that can trigger anger and stress in you.  The only sensible way to view all this is to understand that you can’t live in a modern world without being constantly exposed to many potential anger triggers – which you probably are unable to change or modify. So, to survive (and thrive) you need to develop tools and skills to deal with those things that serve as anger triggers for you personally.

This involves first taking responsibility for how you deal with those angry feelings instead of blaming them on other people or cicumstances. To do this, you need to first separate the feeling of anger from the expression of anger. We have found that the tool of changing your self-talk is an excellent way to do that.

Why does changing self-talk help us with the expression of anger? Because the feeling of anger is natural when we are frustrated or have a goal blocked.  But, what we tell ourselves about the anger trigger has dramatic effect on how angry we get and how we express it. Our thoughts affect our feelings just as our feelings affect our thoughts.

In future blogs, we will give you twelve powerful ways to talk to yourself when angry.

More information at www.angercoach.com

Online anger management at www.angercoachonline.com

Five tips to deal with holiday anger and stress

The holidays often bring family members together who maybe haven’t seen much of each other throughout the year. Old resentments and grievances can often emerge, sometimes with strained or even disasterous consequences. Many families find themselves time-stressed with holday preparations and activities which lower coping ability even further.

The following five tips have been found useful to help you deal with that inevitable holdiay stress:

1. Watch carefully the amount of alcohol you consume. Many anger management students confess that excessive drinking definitely contributed to family conflict and aggression.

2.Reduce stress by managing your time carefully and not over-scheduling yourself. Take time for yourself.

3. Adjust your expectations of family members. No, Aunt Irene hasn’t changed since last year. Tell yourself that you only have to see her once a year- you can cope with it.

4. Work on forgiveness skills. Let old resentments go. Holding grudges hurts you more than your relatives.

5. Develop better empathy skills. Try to see the world from the viewpoint of irritating family members and you may be shocked at how your anger dissipates.

For more tips on how to deal with angry feelings or the angry behavior of others, visit The Anger Coach Website.

The Real Art of Peace

To continue our series on the union of anger management and principals of martial arts training, Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, says……”The way of the warrior, the Art of Politics, is to stop trouble before it starts. It consists in defeating your adversaries spiritually by making them realize the folly of their actions. The Way of a Warrior is to establish harmony.”

For more information on the wedding of Martial Arts and Anger Management, click here.

Quick Anger Tip #27 – Avoid Communicating with Contempt

Contempt is a communication style of regarding someone or something as inferior or less-than.  In effect, we look down on them. Even worse, sometimes it means treating others with scorn as if we regard them as worthless.

When we are treated with contempt by others we feel despised, dishonored, or disgraced.

In marriage or relationships, it is a major predictor of divorce or break-up. No healthy relationship can survive too much contempt over a long period of time.

Following are some behaviors that fall into the contempt category; these behaviors should be avoided by all who want to seriously improve a relationship or avoid relationship disaster:

  • Name-calling, swearing or disrespecting partner
  • Denying the importance of another’s feelings
  • Saying hurtful, mean-spirited things
  • Insulting partner or family member in a way that causes emotional injury
  • Humiliating or ridiculing a partner in front of children or others
  • Putting pressure on others to do things against their core values

For more information on this and other destructive communication styles, click here.